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March 20, 1967

Rupture of the Aorta After Mechlorethamine HCl Infusion of a Bronchial Artery

Author Affiliations

From the Radiation Branch (Dr. Steckel) and the Surgery Branch (Dr. Rolley), National Cancer Institute, and the Department of Radiology, Clinical Center (Dr. Doppman), National Institutes of Health; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Dr. Rolley), Bethesda, Md; and the Department of Pathology, Providence Hospital, Sandusky, Ohio (Dr. Martos).

JAMA. 1967;199(12):936-939. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120120124031

PERCUTANEOUS catheterization of the bronchial arteries by the Seldinger technique has been described and is being investigated actively in several centers.1-7 A special catheter is introduced percutaneously into the femoral artery and is passed proximally in the aorta to the level of the aortic arch. The small bronchial artery orifices arising from the arch or proximal descending aorta can then be entered by the probing catheter tip under fluoroscopic control. This procedure is easily accomplished in the radiology department, and only local anesthesia at the femoral catheterization site is required. Since pulmonary neoplasms, both primary and metastatic, derive their blood supply from the bronchial arteries and not from the pulmonary artery, the technique opens broad new possibilities for the arteriographic diagnosis of pulmonary tumors and for palliative infusions of these tumors with chemotherapeutic agents.1-9 The following case report describes a fatal complication arising from the infusion of a